ABDOMINAL PAIN CENTRE
Helping You With Info On The Diagnosis And
Treatment Of Causes Of Abdominal Pain & Related Medical Problems
"I have been having really bad pain in my abdominal area just below my
sternum. The pain has spread to my right lower abdomen and back.
I have been to
four doctors and have had two CT scans one with barium and the other one
without and one abdominal ultrasound as well. I have also had blood work done.
All tests came back normal. I have been in pain for a month now and no doctor
can figure out the cause", reports a patient.
Stomach ache, belly pain, tummy ache or tummy pain are different names used to describe pain in the abdomen and it could be a
real pain, often difficult to diagnose. "There it was, glowing on the
computer screen next to each patient's name, and repeated again, up on the
emergency-department tracking board: "Abd Pn," the abbreviation for
abdominal pain. It appeared again and again , 12 times", reports the TIME
magazine of February 2nd 2011, in the article, "Why Belly Pain Is Such a
Headache for ED Doctors" (italics ours).
No. Not to Emergency Department doctors alone. Pain in the abdomen remains
one of the most common reasons why people go to see family doctors (GPs), gynaecologists, surgeons, urologists, and indeed many other specialists. Abdominal or bowel pain is as common as the common cold, and it is a
frequent cause of misery to millions of children, women and men worldwide on a
Such misery could be made worse if the cause of pain remains elusive
despite visits to the doctor, or inability to find a lasting remedy for the
Is that your experience?
The following are two common causes of abdominal pain and how getting
the diagnosis right, could mean restoring good health and normal quality of life
to the sufferer in good time, or a matter of life and death if there is delay in the diagnosis or worse still, a wrong diagnosis.
Aaron was 12 years old. He developed pain in the upper abdomen one afternoon.
The pain started as a mild ache, but soon became worse over night. By breakfast time the next morning, he hardly could eat anything. He felt like vomiting and was very tired.
By dinner time, the pain had moved over from the upper "stomach" down to the lower right side of the abdomen. Laughing and moving made the pain worse. He had an episode of loose stool. He was given some homemade remedies by mum and asked to go to bed.
At about 4am, he woke up and vomited once. He could not walk without bending forward and with a tilt to the right side. All he wanted to do was lie still in bed.
He was taken to his local hospital and was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.
He was promptly taken to theatre within a few hours of arrival to the hospital by the duty surgeons and operated upon. He was found to have a ruptured appendicitis, with lots of pus inside his abdomen.
Aaron was then kept in hospital longer than is usual for straight forward appendix operation, given antibiotics for days through his vein and then discharged home.
Any further delay or misdiagnosis could have made things worse; it could have lead to an avoidable death from appendicitis, which is a very common cause of abdominal pain.
That is a very typical story for people with appendicitis. It is a very common problem, often very straight forward to diagnose and treat, but could sometimes present serious diagnostic difficulties.
Rosemell is 44 years old. She developed sudden onset severe lower right sided abdominal pain. The pain was continuous, spreads from the lower right abdomen to her back, right hip and then to her upper thigh.
She was given some pain killers, which only took the edge off the pain. She felt like vomiting at a point but did not.
She was taken to the local Emergency department. She was suspected to be having appendicitis. Blood tests done for appendicitis were normal. Her urine test came back normal too. her pregnancy test was also negative. She was admitted over night without any further testing or scanning and was told that she needs to be "observed till the morning".
For some reasons her pain subsided and she was discharged home.
Rosemell returned two days later with severe pain on the right lower abdomen again, and a scan of the abdomen revealed a large twisted ovarian cyst.
She was taken to theater, operated upon and a 11cm x 9 cm twisted cyst was removed from her right ovary.
A more careful and thorough approach would have saved Rosemell the additional agony of having to bear her abdominal pain longer than she had to.
Online Doctors Help Here
True, because of the number of organs in the abdomen, the diagnosis of the cause of a tummy
pain could be difficult. However, a proper understanding of the abdomen, the
structures in each region and how the bowels work could help in reducing the difficulty
in knowing what might be wrong, before turning up to see your doctor.
Do you or your loved one
suffer with chronic abdominal pain? Or are you looking for explanation for the
cause of pain on your right lower abdomen
or on the left
abdomen or indeed anywhere in the abdomen? Are you a lady seeking help
with women health issues like menstrual cramps,
choosing contraceptive pills, pregnancy related matters,
and problems with urinary incontinence and more?
Here at the Abdominal Pain
Centre, we aim: to provide a comprehensive wealth of information free of
charge on causes, recognition, investigations, current treatment options
available and where appropriate, actions that can be taken to prevent abdominal
pain in both men and women and from infancy to old age.
The content of this site is
solely contributed by experienced medical doctors with international
experience, and they strive to base this guide on current best evidence
available in latest medical literature and from their clinical experience
in their day to day medical practice.
We sincerely hope that this
free online resource prove to be useful to you in understanding the causes of pain in
the abdomen , their investigations and treatment options available.
It would prove to be a
useful resource for the curious non-medical reader as well as medical and
health trainees. We regularly update the information here; so please visit
We invite you to subscribe
to our free Newsletter. You can do this by filling in your details on the box above.
Please do not hesitate to
use our free online
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should you require further information or you could join our Discussion Forum
Last updated: 30 September 2013
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